Robert Rich Interview

Source: Robert Rich.

When I was starting out in the late ‘70s, there was no place to perform the music I wanted to make, there was no scene for it anywhere. I arrived ten years too late for the psychedelic scene in San Francisco, far away in place and time from the German spacemusic pioneers. The punk and industrial scenes were exciting but I didn’t share their degree of anger and angst. I was still a teenager in the late ‘70s, and everything felt far away or yesterday. Ten or twelve years later, slightly younger people started putting on raves and using drum machines with repetitive synths and lots of drugs; but that seemed like something closer to disco in my introverted mindset. I wasn’t making party music, quite the opposite actually. The techno crowd started using “ambient” to describe the music in the chill rooms at their parties, and later I learned that they included my music (like “Other Side of Twilight” from Numena) because somehow I escaped the perception of being “new age.” When I heard other music they were using in the chill rooms, I liked some of it, like Orb or Jonah Sharp for example. By that time in the early ‘90s, I was starting to feel old, although I was barely 30. Perhaps my tastes were old. I wanted to hear music that sounded less repetitive, more organic. I went different ways from the popular dance-oriented electronic music, and stayed on the fringes. A little cohort group started to form – Steve Roach, Jeff Greinke, Alio Die, Oophoi, Paul Schutze, Jorge Reyes, Vidna Obmana, Kenneth Newby and many others